By Kristen Fazio @Kristen_Fazio on June 12, 2014
The 2014 NBA Finals are headed into a pivotal Game 4. The Heat will need LeBron James to have a huge game in order to hold court at home, while the Spurs would love to see another monster game from budding star Kawhi Leonard. These are the players who must deliver in Game 4.
Mario Chalmers has struggled mightily in the NBA Finals (and the entire playoffs) thus far and his confidence has been shaken because of it. Chalmers has 10 total points in three Finals games and for the Heat to win, they need him to get back to his old self. Last year, Chalmers was vital in the Heat's Game 2 and Game 6 wins. The team desperately needs more of that.
Diaw got the start in Game 3 and has been a key contributor to the Spurs' success in the playoffs. His passing and shooting abilities have given the Heat problems and he matches up well defensively against Miami. If the Spurs continue to run their offense through Diaw, it may not show up in the box score, but it will have a huge impact on the game.
The best way for Parker to deliver is for him to continue to pass the ball. The Heat have been keying in on Parker, double teaming him to get him to give up the ball. In Game 3, Parker kept the ball moving and his teammates knocked down their shots. He doesn't need to drop 30 for the Spurs to win; he just needs to continue to play unselfish basketball and lead the team.
The Spurs know that in order for them to win Leonard needs to be aggressive, and he did just that in Game 3, scoring 29 points and frustrating LeBron James on defense. If Leonard comes through for the Spurs in a big way again, it could spell trouble for the Heat and possibly lead to them facing a 3-1 hole going back to San Antonio.
James by far has the most pressure on him to deliver in Game 4. He must shoulder the load for the Heat and score 25-plus in order for Miami to win. With Mario Chalmers and Norris Cole providing very little, James has been forced to handle the ball at times and become even more of a playmaker. Everyone will have their eyes on James to see how he responds to Miami's Game 3 loss.
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